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Tired of feeling tired

Mar. 30th, 2008 | 03:09 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

For most of this last year, I’ve been feeling increasingly tired and worn out, despite often sleeping for ten hours every night. During the easter holidays, even the mild exercise of a short ski trip or walking the 2 km uphill to my house was enough to make me exhausted. In the end, my sister suggested I go to the doctor and try to figure out if anything physical was causing the tiredness, because she didn’t think it was normal to be so tired all the time.

So tomorrow, I’m going to see the doctor, take a blood test, and hopefully get some answers. I hope it’s just lack of iron or something similar, and not something more serious.


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Mar. 25th, 2008 | 12:55 am

Originally posted at auromheim.net

In Norway, every university student has to take a course in philosophy. It’s supposed to teach you to question what you learn and think for yourself. I took the course last semester, and though I felt it was dull and pointless at the time, I’m coming to appreciate it more and more.

The course is supposed to be angled towards the field you’re studying, so for the MatNat faculty, the course, especially the latter half, was focused on the field of science. We learnt about paradigms, Popper, etc… The most interesting for me, though, was a brief mention of feminism in relations to science.

Newer theories on science have proposed that, even in natural sciences, you can’t have completely objective observations. The observer affects the object being observed. And, of course, the interpretation of what is being observed will be affected by the person observing.

Yes, there is a point in here somewhere. Up till the last century, scientists have, pretty much, been men. And if you buy into the whole “aggressive male” stereotype, you can see how it has affected the way natural processes are described.

In my Organic Chemistry book, there are a lot of descriptions of reactions, and reaction mechanisms. There’s a lot of talk of electrons “attacking” atoms. It’s a completely innocent way of describing what is happening, but it is also interesting to look at in connection to the previously mentioned male domination in natural sciences, and male/female stereotypes.

A woman might describe the electrons as “reaching out for” the atom?

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It’s not a compliment, it’s insulting.

Mar. 21st, 2008 | 07:02 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

Yesterday was the annual Easter Rock in my home town, a night of mini-concerts by local bands. It had the potential of being a lot of fun, and it was in the beginning - the vorspiel* and the first concerts. I only drank a couple of beers at the vorspiel, and so became pretty sober after a short while. I soon also got very tired, because I had just come home from a two-day road-trip to Eastern Norway and Sweden.

The rest of the crowd got drunker, and during the latter half of the evening I was trod on, pushed and spilled beer on. I usually wouldn’t be too bothered by it, but I was tired, and when random men decided they were allowed to fondle me, all the fun went out of the evening. I don’t care how drunk you are, what the hell makes you think it’s OK to stroke the arms or pinch the bottom of a girl you don’t know?

It was made worse by the fact that I knew it wouldn’t have happened had my boyfriend been there. Girls should be able to go out partying without a chaperone, for fuck’s sake! It’s not 1950.

* = drinking in someone’s home prior to going out


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Slightly random, concerning fire

Mar. 15th, 2008 | 12:21 am

Originally posted at auromheim.net

Last fall, my then-roommate managed to come home from a night out, start boiling eggs, and fall asleep with them still on the oven. And he managed to do it twice. The result was a flat that smelled like burnt eggs for weeks; it also hightened my fear of fire. You see, we lived on the third floor, my room was at the end of a narrow corridor, and we didn’t have smoke detectors or fire escapes.

I have this nightmare of being trapped by fire, unable to escape. It comes from a true story I read once of a girl who was trapped in a car after a crash. A fireman was witness to how she watched fire closing in on her, and then she caught on fire. He was unable to help because his fire-extinguisher was empty, and the fire truck was too far away. The girl survived.

My imagination is very good at putting me in that kind of situation, and especially when I’m just about to go to sleep. When I still lived in the above mentioned flat, I had problems falling asleep some nights.

To put it simply: I am, despite the bad isolation and messiness, extremely happy to be living somewhere else now.


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Bad mood, shoo!

Mar. 9th, 2008 | 05:13 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

When I woke up today, I was in a lousy mood. I didn’t want to study for tomorrow’s midterm exam, and even further: I was doubting if wanted to continue Chemistry past this year. That last thought has been pretty predominant in my mind for a while, and I think it has to do with the fact that my fascination with science and how things work have been drowned in stress and school work.

Usually when I have mornings like that, I get up, eat breakfast, and hope the bad mood will go away by itself. Today I took a different route: I stayed in bed and forced myself to think about why I applied for Chemistry in the first place, why I took two years worth of High School Maths in one year just to get INTO Chemistry, and why I have up till now been convinced that it was the right route for me to take in Uni.

Because I love science. I like to watch everyday processes and know why they happen the way they do. And there really is no other Uni-course that appeals to me more.

After I got up and ate breakfast, I proceeded to read two chapters in my textbook, and I actually enjoyed it. This must be the first time ever that arguing against my feelings have actually worked.

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Are YOU a tech-wiz?

Mar. 7th, 2008 | 02:40 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

I was studying for my midterm-exam in the cafeteria today (yes, I concentrate better with background noise), and next to me at the table sat a very animated group. I found myself listening to their conversation, because a lot of what they were talking about was funny and a whole lot more interesting than the standard enthalpy of formation. One of the things they talked about was a mutual friend, a girl, who apparently wasn’t very good at technological stuff. At first I too thought it was funny, but then I started thinking about expectations. It really is expected of young people today to be good at computers and other technology. All the information from my university goes through the Internet, a lot of the tasks set are supposed to be delivered over the Net. Having your own laptop is almost a necessity.

So what do you do if you’re from a poor family and can’t afford your own computer? Or if you’re past forty, back in Uni to finally get your masters degree? I know my mother would’ve been very frustrated if she had to use the computer to the extent that we do. Or maybe you’ve just spent your time doing other things than staring at a computer screen? You probably have basic computer skills, but how about knowing that the way to get around the .docx glitch in the task delivery program is to save as .html?

I’m sure it must be frustrating for some people to be expected to be tech-savvy, or, like the girl above, laughed at for their lack of computer skills. Then again, you can argue that the way everything is being digitalised these days, people should get up-to-date on the technological front. Personally, I’m a bit in favor of the last argument, though I know that it’s not an easy thing to do for many people.

And on a slightly different note: how many times have you reacted with surprise when someone told you they didn’t have a Facebook account? That’s a thing that’s become expected too, and it’s like you’re completely anti-social if you don’t have one. But don’t get me started on the iffyness of even our social life going through computers.

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Declaring independence

Feb. 17th, 2008 | 10:11 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

Congratulations, Kosovo, I just wish there wasn’t a sort of stirring-the-hornets-nest feeling to it all. Serbia’s point-blank refusal to acknowledge the new state smacks of pre-WWII imperialism. I just don’t understand the contempt for their neighbours you hear in interviews with serbians living close to Kosovo. The last conflict isn’t that many years ago, and I can’t believe they have forgotten the horrors already.


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Jan. 21st, 2008 | 12:41 am

Originally posted at auromheim.net

Recently, I’ve watched three very good movies: two romantic dramas set around WWII, and one post-apocalyptic science fiction. I figured I’d write a short review for each, though coherent reviewing is not my strong side. So, in chronological order:

The Notebook (2004)
The combining factor for the three movies I’m reviewing is that at the outset, I didn’t have the best impression of them. The Notebook is perhaps the one I was most pessimistic about. Numerous sitcoms have used it as the prime example of the “girly movie”, and from the blurb, I was expecting just another romantic story of the rich girl and poor boy who struggle with prejudices but end up living happily ever after.

“Happily ever after” being the defining sentence. Without the story in the retiring home, The Notebook would have been just another (superbly acted, but still) romantic war-drama. Seeing Abby and Noah at the end of their lives just gave the story an extra dimension.

I watched it twice over the Christmas holidays, and I cried just as hard at the ending the second time, as I did the first. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t help liking movies that move me that much.

I Am Legend (2007)
I don’t like zombie movies, and have never been particularly impressed by Will Smith as an actor. Still, I have a thing for post-apocalyptic movies, and so decided to give this one a try.

I still can’t put my finger on what made me like it so much, but I think it has to do with the way they were able to set the mood: you really felt Dr. Neville’s isolation. And the suspense! I have never jumped so much in my seat as I did while watching this movie. The Darkseekers were truly terrifying.

Will Smith impressed me incredibly. His portrayal of Neville’s loneliness stayed with me for a couple of days after I saw the movie. The final scene with him and Sam still makes me upset to think about.

Another thing I was impressed by was how the filmmakers were able to make the story so convincing. If you think about the virus-plot, it seems pretty far-fetched; but while watching, that’s the last thing on your mind. They really suspended my disbelief – and that isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

Atonement (2007)
One great thing about James McAvoy? You know you’re going to see some wonderful acting when you go to see one of his movies. And although Keira Knightley’s pout annoys me to no end, she’s a great actor, and did an awesome job in this movie.

Though, as I did with The Notebook, I wondered what was going to set this movie apart. It was beautifully made, incredibly well-acted, and the scenes from war-ridden France really brought home some horrible truths about the war. Even so, one part of my brain was still asking the question.

And then the screen turned black. And then we met old Briony Tallis. And the movie was completely turned around. It was a series of blows to hear the real fates of Robbie and Cecilia – and in a way, the way things ended up was yet another awful truth about the war, because without WWII, they might have gotten their time together.

I watched this movie yesterday, and I still can’t shake the hopeless feeling I got from the ending.


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Office 07 love

Jan. 18th, 2008 | 11:37 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

You can say what you want about Windows Vista, but I have to admit to falling in love with Office 2007. It’s just so pretty and user friendly. I spent some time right now setting up a template for my laboratory logs, and the different headlines have colour and the new fonts are so pleasing on the eye.

What can I say, I like new and pretty things. :3

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Meeting the parents - and the dog

Jan. 4th, 2008 | 10:42 pm

Originally posted at auromheim.net

What’s all this fuss about “meeting the parents”? In media, they keep implying that it’s always an uncomfortable experience, etc, etc. Well, I spent yesterday, and the day before, at my boyfriend’s house, and it was nothing but enjoyable. Maybe I’m lucky that his parents are really nice and easy to relax around? (The whole family seems that way – we visited his sister today.) The only one I had problems with was the dog. And by problems, I mean she was terrified of me.

the view from the forest roadShe (the dog) is four years old, but so tiny you can easily mistake her for a puppy. She loves her stuffed bird-plushie and whenever my boyfriend’s home, the first thing she does is take his shoes and carry them into her sleeping-box. She’s the most adorable creature ever, and I obviously wanted to pet her. But whenever I approached she cowered in fear, poor thing. I attempted to win her trust by giving her some cake, but by the end of the evening, she still didn’t feel safe around me.

The next day, my boyfriend and I took the dog for a walk up a forest road. It was lovely, apart for being bone-chillingly cold. Near 0 degrees C, and strong wind (it’s actually worse today, the landscape looks truly frozen). The view was great, and it was good to spend some time in the nature before going back to Bergen this Sunday.

me, bundled up against the coldWhen we got back, we made lasagna for his parents, and after eating we just relaxed in the living room. I almost fell asleep on the couch – that’s how comfortable I felt. The dog was also starting to feel more comfortable. Right before we had to leave to see “Arn – tempelridderen“, she curled up in the sofa between me and my boyfriend.

For about five minutes before she discovered I was there. Heh. Hopefully we’ll become better friends next time I visit.

“Arn – tempelridderen” was a fascinating movie, made more so by the stark contrast between Middle-Age Sweden and the Templar Knights’ Jerusalem. It’s an overly heroic story, and the lead man is a bit TOO perfect, but I liked it. Better than “Kingdom of Heaven”, anyways.

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